Major Foreign Collections
Bookstores in KyotoLast Change: 12 Sep 2012 Visit date appears at the end of each entry in [MM/YY] format. No date means latest visit was before April 2006. ============================================================================ Kyoto Kyoto is an old Asian capital which took its model from Tang Chang-an (present Xi-an). Unlike other Japanese cities, people can usually give you directions from an address. Kyoto addresses are given in a 'nearby intersection' + 'direction' format. Higashi-iru means east, nishi-iru west, agaru (up) north, sagaru (down) south (the direction the river Kamo flows). Kado means 'on the corner'. Note that N/S traffic here frequently omits E/W coordinates and vice versa. Streets which end in 'jo' are numbered N/S and run E/W. All stores in Kyoto-shi, Kyoto-fu. NTT long-distance area code: Kyoto-shi 075. Northern Kyoto Kyoto University and Doshisha University Marutamachi, northern Teramachi and Nijo Higashiyama (Heian Jingu and Kyoto Municipal Museum) Keihan Sanjo Station Shijo-Kawaramachi (Downtown Kyoto) Teramachi Arcade Gojo JR Kyoto Station -------------- Guide for tourists Osaka, Kobe, Nara and Wakayama (separate file) Subject Index, Kansai area -------------- Stores with Mail/Fax/Online services Bookstores in other cities of Japan Bookstores in other cities of the world ============================================================================ General notes on address, phone conventions, hours, etc. in Japan Looking for bargains? Buying books in Japan Insights of the trade: Publishing books in Japan Other sources and reference material on bookstores in Japan Glossary of Japanese publishing terms Acknowledgements ============================================================================ Northern Kyoto: -------------- Kitaoji Bus Terminal is directly above Subway Karasuma Line Kitaoji Station. NTT long-distance area code is 075, with the exception of Kitayama: 077. Kitayama (18-2 Higashi-Kurusu-cho, Shichiku, Kita-ku 603_8434; North of Kitayama-dori Shichiku-Kurusucho Intersection, near Joutokuji. Phone/Fax 077-529-1032) "Used books. Sociology, anthropology and Asian studies in various languages including German, English, Chinese and Japanese. Does business solely through mail and internet order." Shiseido (55 Minami-Kamifusa, Koyama, Kita-ku 603_8149; South of Otani University (a Buddhist college). From Subway Kitaoji Station Exit 6 walk south down Karasuma-dori on right side. About 3 minutes from station exit. 431-2345, Fax 432-6588; email@example.com) "A vast collection of philosophy books on 2 floors. Well organized, fabulous selection. The majority French and German but also many English titles." Open 9-17. Closed Sun, Hol. [08/11] Keibunsha (10 Ichijoji-Haraitono-cho, Sakyo-ku 606_8184; 4 minutes west of Eiden Ichijoji. Phone/Fax 711-5919) "Unique collection of art books, zany literature. Some imported photography, design titles and children's books. During a past visit I spotted poetry in Italian but I'm not sure if it's intended for reading. Also sells postcards, etc. A Guardian article from 2008 ranks this place as one of the best 10 bookstores of the world - but Kyoto has many more interesting stores." Open 10-22:30, 11- Sun. Closed only Jan 1st. [08/11] Yamazaki Shoten (art books) moved to Higashiyama. Kyoto University and Doshisha University: -------------- To Kyoto University Campus: Bus 17 from JR Kyoto Terminal serves Hyakumamben. From Keihan Demachiyanagi Terminal Exit 4 walk east along Imadegawa-dori about 15 minutes, or take bus 17, 102 or 203 from stop 3. Rinsen Shoten (Imadegawa-dori Kawabata Higashi-iru, Sakyo-ku, 606_8204; East of Demachiyanagi and Kamo-Ohashi bridge. 721-7111, Fax 781-6168; http://www.rinsen.com/) "Foreign books sold through catalog order. Their catalog is famous nationwide. Few books on display here." Open 9-17. Closed most weekends, Hol. Kyoto University Coop Bookstore (Seikyou Shoten) (Yoshida-honmachi, Sakyo-ku 606_8501; West side of Higashi-Oji Ave. south of Hyakumamben. Nearby is the gym and pool. 771-7336, Fax 771-8045) "Academic collection. Best selection of foreign science & technical books in Kyoto. Many imported philosophy, linguistics, math, physics, biology and computer books. They say orders from abroad take 1-6 months to arrive and warn foreign students who do not plan to stay so long not to order. Visitors may purchase here but only coop members get a discount." Open 10-18, 11-15 Sat. Closed Sun, school Hol. The following stores on the north side of Imadegawa-dori and the campus, between Hyakumamben and Kyodai-Nougakubu-mae bus stops: -------------- Yoshioka Shoten (87 Tanaka-Monzencho, Sakyo-ku 606_8225; 781-4747, Fax 701-9075) "Two buildings selling old books. The store on the west sells humanity titles. A good selection of philosophy books (but far smaller than Shiseido's). The store on the east sells science books. Fine collection of math and science books." [08/11] Gallia Shobo (90 Tanaka-Monzencho; 702-6548, Fax 702-6223) "Tiny shop of French books. Mostly titles about history, colonialism, feminism and language. Small but serious collection." Open 10-18. Closed Sun, Hol. Chubun Shuppansha (91 Tanaka-Monzencho; 701-2898, Fax 702-4877) "Chinese books. Large selection of classics and social studies. Also a handful of Korean books." Open 10-18, -12 Sat. Closed Sun, Hol. Earth Shobo closed and reopened as a vegetarian restaurant named 'Earth Shokudo' Feb '10. The militant left-wing/ecologist bookstore closed 11 months before the Fukushima Nuclear Crisis. The restaurant has many books on its shelves. Zentekido closed the Kita-Shirakawa Kami-Betto-cho store and now only purchases books. Doshisha University area, west bank of river: -------------- Zenshodo (Kawaramachi Imadegawa-agaru, Kamigyo-ku 602_0822; Northeast corner of intersection. 231-7711, Fax 231-7716) "Used books. Solid academic collection. Strong in the humanities. Many foreign books. The place to look for classics in the original. This was known as a 'pawn-bookshop' in which books served as collateral." Open 11-18. Closed Wed. Fujiwara Kitagosho Shobo (Imadegawa Teramachi Nishi-iru, Kamigyo-ku 602_0832; 5 minutes west of Demachiyanagi Terminal. Phone/Fax 241-2598) "Some foreign books: history, economics, linguistics and literature. Doshisha is Kyoto's foremost Christian University." "Kyoto is the academic center of western Japan. Kyoto University studies pure science, Tokyo University studies applied science. Beneath the scholastic philosophy of Kyoto is a long Buddhist tradition. Tokyo is busy skimming the productive fruits of the most recent foreign developments. Kyoto has produced Nobel laureates, including Hideki Yukawa. Tokyo breeds bureaucrats unmatched in power in Japan but little known overseas. Kyoto scholars interpret law much more liberally than their counterparts in Tokyo." "To the east of Kyoto University Campus is Ginkaku-ji, The Temple of the Silver Pavilion. It was never painted silver due to financial problems. Much better that way: austere but somehow decadent. Indeed one of the artistic masterpieces of oriental architecture. Take a stroll down nearby Testugaku no Michi (The Philosopher's Path - a popular Book Crossing release point). Ginkaku-ji is about 25 minutes by foot from Kyoto University. Or take any eastbound bus to Ginkakuji-michi." Marutamachi, Nijo and northern Teramachi: -------------- Stores aligned west to east along Marutamachi-dori. Ibundo (Kawaramachi Marutamachi Nishi-iru, Kamigyo-ku 602_0875; 11 minutes from Subway Marutamachi (walk along park), 5 minutes from Keihan Jinguu-Marutamachi. Phone/Fax 231-0767) "Chinese books. Academic. Some books in Japanese. No English books." Open 10-18. Closed Sun, Hol. CLC Books Kyoto (Kawaramachi Marutamachi-sagaru, Kamigyo-ku 602_0873; Shortly south of corner. 2nd floor of bldg. 231-3967, Fax 231-3970) "Christian books. Very few books in English. Their store in Ochanomizu, Tokyo is much larger." Open 10-19, -17 Hol. Closed Sun. Green-E Books (Kawabata Marutamachi Higashi-iru, 9-5 Higashi-Marutacho, Sakyo-ku 606_8395; Northeast corner of intersection, 2F of building adjacent to Keihan Jinguu-Marutamachi Exit 4. See their online map. Phone/Fax 751-5033; http://www.greenebooks.net/) "Foreign books and magazines. Strong in academic titles. Mostly English, also some French, German and Spanish. Website has inventory lists." Open 11-19. Closed Tue, Wed. [01/13] Makimura Shoten (Marutamachi Kawabata Higashi-iru, 25 Higashi-Marutacho; About 4 minutes from Keihan Jinguu-Marutamachi. East bank of river. North side of street. 771-2607, Fax 771-7400) "Largely academic collection. Piles and piles of books, badly disorganized." Souzousha (Marutamachi Kawabata Higashi-iru, 32 Higashi-Marutacho; North side of Marutamachi-dori, shortly east of Makimura. 761-7025) "Used books. Academic collection. Some foreign medical books." Fushikido Shobo (Marutamachi Kawabata Higashi-iru, 41 Higashi-Marutacho; Between Souzousha and Kumano Shrine. 771-0617) "Academic used bookseller. Some foreign books: dictionaries, math, physics and social sciences. Hours are irregular. Appointment recommended." Kumano Jinja is on the corner of Marutamachi and Higashi-Oji. Hyakumamben Intersection is 3 bus stops to the north or about 18 minutes by foot. Nijo: -------------- Hinoki Shoten, specialist of Noh drama and Kyogen books closed May 2013. Small shop in Kanze Kaikan open 10-13 Thu, Fri on days Noh is performed. HQ now in Tokyo Kanda-Ogawamachi. http://www.hinoki-shoten.co.jp/ Teramachi-dori between Marutamachi and Oike: -------------- This section of Teramachi-dori is not roofed and is also known as Teramachi Art Street. Bun'endo (Teramachi Ebisugawa-agaru 676-1, Kuen'in-mae-cho 604_0993; Two blocks south of Marutamachi. West side of Teramachi. 241-2288) "Specialist of calligraphy (Shodo) books. Small shop, but known nationwide among enthusiasts. Also eastern philosophy." Closed irr. [07/13] South of Bun'endo on Teramachi, in order, are Geirinso, Unsodo and Shogakudo. Geirinso sells calligraphy, Buddhist art and Japanese antiquarian books. http://www.geirinso.jp/annai.html Unsodo also deals in artistic books. Shogakudo sells books in traditional Japanese binding, dating from the mid 1800s. Shogakudo is near Oike and is on the east side of Teramachi. The other 3 stores are on the west side. [07/13] Higashiyama (Heian Jingu and Kyoto Municipal Museum): -------------- Yamazaki Shoten (91-18 Okazaki Enshojicho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606_8344; South of Heian Jingu Shrine, near Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art. Subway Higashiyama. 762-0249, Fax 762-0250; http://www.artbooks.jp/) "Art books" Open 10-18. Closed Mon. Keihan Sanjo Station: -------------- Book Off Sanjo-eki Building (Sanjo Ohashi Higashi-iru, 177 Ohashi-cho, Higashiyama-ku 605_0009; Above Keihan Sanjo Station. Exit 9. On east side of river, near Sanjo Ohashi (Bridge). 762-0707) "Used books. Rather large for a Book Off, with a good collection of academic books at bargain prices. Some foreign books." Open 10-23. [01/13] Shijo-Kawaramachi: -------------- Shijo-Kawaramachi is the central shopping district of Kyoto. From west to east under Shijo-dori are Hankyu Omiya Station, Subway Shijo/Hankyu Karasuma Junction and Hankyu Kawaramachi Terminal. On the east side of Shijo-Ohashi Bridge is Keihan Gion-Shijo Station. At the east end of Shijo-dori is Yasaka Shrine. >From JR Kyoto, most people take the Subway to Shijo and stroll around. Buses 5, 17 and 205 from JR Kyoto serve Shijo-Kawaramachi. Sanjo means 'Third Avenue', Shijo means 'Fourth Avenue' and Kawaramachi means 'River Bank Town'. Kawaramachi: -------------- All stores in Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto. Stores aligned from north to south (Oike to Shijo). San Paolo Kyoto (Kawaramachi Sanjo-agaru, 423 Shimomaruyamachi 604_8006; Between Royal Hotel and Asahi Kaikan on Kawaramachi. 1st floor. 256-9678, Fax 231-6700) "Catholic. Main store in Yotsuya, Tokyo. Japanese books, with the exception of Bibles in several languages." Open 10:30-18:30. Open Sun 10:30-16:30. Closed Tue, Hol, March 19, June 30, around the New Year and mid Aug. [07/13] Junkudo Kyoto Asahi Kaikan (Kawaramachi Sanjo-agaru, 427 Ebisu-cho, Nakagyo-ku 604_8005; 3F&4F Kyoto Asahi Kaikan, slightly north of Sanjo on east side of Kawaramachi. Nearby is Kyoto Royal Hotel and Honno-ji. South of Subway Kyoto Shiyakusho-mae. 6 blocks north of former Junkudo Kyoto Bal. 253-6460, Fax 253-6460; HQ Kobe) "Temporary store for Junkudo Kyoto Bal, which closed Jan 2013 for building renovations. Specializes in technical books but the stock is much smaller due to limited space. Foreign book section 4F, also much smaller than that of the former Bal store. 3 shelves books on Japan, including translated literature: better than the Shijo store listed below. No imported science, technology books." Open 10-20. Closed irr. [07/13] Kikuo Shoten (Kawaramachi Sanjo-agaru 604_8005; West side of Kawaramachi, north of Sanjo. 231-7634, Fax 255-4436; firstname.lastname@example.org) "Most famous antiquarian bookshop in Kyoto. Great collection of illustrated books. Many foreign books: Japan & East Asia studies, art. Issues catalog." Open 10-19. Closed Sun, Hol. [01/13] Media Shop (Kawaramachi Sanjo-sagaru, 44 Daikokucho 604_8031; Kawaramachi Vox. Turn east at first alley south of Sanjo. Faces Kyogeki Kaikan Dream Bowl. 255-0783, Fax 255-1592) "Modern art books: photography, design, architecture. Largely imported." Open 11-22, -21 Sat. [07/13] Daigakudo (Kawaramachi Sanjo-sagaru, 54 Daikokucho 604_8031; West side of Kawaramachi, south of Sanjo. Phone/Fax 221-5063) "Used bookstore. Academic collection. Strong in English, American literature, humanities and art. Some foreign books. Established early 1900s." Open 13:30-19:30 Closed Fri. [01/13] Seifu Kankoubutsu Service Center (Kawaramachi Rokkaku-sagaru, 245 Yamazaki-cho 604_8032; Enter street north of former Kyoto Bal. 221-4444, Fax 255-2913) "Government periodicals. Usually no foreign books." Akao Shobundo (Kawaramachi Rokkaku-sagaru, 256 Yamazaki-cho; West side of Kawaramachi, opposite of former Kyoto Bal. Above gift shop selling crepe dolls, purses, etc. 221-1588, Fax 255-5571) "Academic books and wahon, prints." [01/13] Book Off Kyoto Kawaramachi OPA (8F OPA Kawaramachi Shijo Agaru, 385 Komeya-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-8505; Near Kawaramachi Shijo Intersection. West side of street. 253-6910) "Used books. Large store. Modest foreign section. Probably better for foreign books than Book Off Sanjo." Open 11-22. [07/13] Maruzen closed October '05. Junkudo Kyoto Bal closed Jan 2013 for building renovations. Temporary store in Asahi Kaikan. A new store will open in the original location in 2015. It will be called "Maruzen." Teramachi Arcade: -------------- All stores in Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto. A roof covers Teramachi-dori between Oike-dori and Shijo-dori. Stores aligned from north to south (Oike to Shijo). See above for Bun'endo, which is outside the roofed section. Chikuho Shoro (Teramachi Anenokouji-agaru, 511 Shimo-Honnojimae-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604_8091; Teramachi-dori, near the north end of the roofed section, facing to Honno-ji. Subway Kyoto Shiyakusho-mae. Phone/Fax 231-2977) "Antique Japanese books. In business from circa 1740. Building dates from around 1865. Of all the bookstores in Japan, this store best preserves the look of stores in the Tokugawa period. See photo. Another photo. Tourists welcome. In spite of its historical value, people in the vicinity are not always aware of this store. Ask for directions to Honno-ji." Open 10-19. Closed Thu. [07/13] Chikusendo (Teramachi Anenokouji Higashi-iru, 492-7 Shimo-Honnojimae-cho 604_8091; Enter alley to the east of Kichuudo. North side of street. 231-2933, Fax 231-2944; http://www.chikusendo.net/) "Antique Japanese books. Prints on display in the front-side showcase. (If you see them, the store is open. When closed curtain is drawn.)" Appointment recommended. [08/11] Kichuudo (Teramachi Sanjo-kita 604_8081; In the Teramachi shopping arcade, west side of street. 231-2971, Fax 212-0934; http://web.kyoto-inet.or.jp/people/kiraya/indexe.html) "Buddhism. (Teramachi means 'Temple Town'). Established 1905. Very few foreign books." [01/13] Daishodo (Teramachi Nishikikoji-agaru 604_8045; One street to the west of the Takoyakushi (The Temple of the Healing Octopus). 221-0685, Fax 255-6463) "Antique Japanese books dating from the Tokugawa period. Lots of ukiyoe prints. Tourists welcome." Random Walk Kyoto Teramachi closed January '09. Kinokuniya Kyoto Movix closed end of September '11. Shijo: -------------- Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto. Stores aligned east to west, from Kawaramachi to Karasuma. Book 1st Kyoto (Kotocross Hankyu Kawaramachi, Shijo Kawaramachi-kado; Northeast corner of Kawaramachi and Shijo. 229-8500, Fax 227-8501) "Some foreign books 4F, including a small collection of books on Japan facing elevator. Not a large store: closed 2 of 4 floors Aug '09." Open 10-22. [01/13] Junkudo Kyoto (Shijo-dori Tominokoji-kado 600_8005; On north side of Shijo-dori between Karasuma and Kawaramachi. Between underground passage exits 9 and 13. 252-0101, Fax 252-0550; HQ Kobe) "Leading bookstore of Kyoto. Refurbished Feb '13 after the closing of the Bal store which had been Kyoto's largest. Usually crowded. Some foreign books 5F, but much less than what the Bal store had had. A shelf or two each ELT, dictionaries, Japanese texts for foreigners, translated manga and paperback fiction and non-fiction. The Asahi Kaikan store also has foreign books." Open 10-21. [07/13] JQ Store (Animega) (Shijo-dori Yanagibamba Higashi-iru 600_8005; On north side of Shijo-dori, several buildings to the west (toward Karasuma) of Junkudo. 255-0654, Fax 256-5082) "Formerly Bookstore Dan. Specialist of manga comics and related affidavits. A handful of translated manga 1F. Run by Bunkyodo, Tokyo." Open 10-22. -22:30 Fri. [07/13] Gion Shobo closed October '06. "There is an interesting legend behind the Takoyakushi (Temple of the Healing Octopus). A young monk named Zenkou (Good Light) bought an octopus to feed his sick mother. (In Japan, octopus is considered a delicacy. It is also a good vitamin source.) In front of this altar, townsfolk apprehended Zenkou for violating temple orders. (Buddhist monks are vegetarian.) Zenkou, in distress, turned to prayer. The octopus started to glow, and turned into a ball of light. When the light faded, the octopus was gone. In its place were scrolls, eight in all, which revealed themselves to be books of medicine." "Inoda (Shijo branch: basement, Shoken Bldg, adjacent to Daimaru; Main store: Sakaimachi Sanjo sagaru) is regarded by many as the best coffee in Kyoto. With cream and sugar by default." "One street north of Shijo is Nishiki Market, the 'Kitchen of Kyoto'. Vegetable varieties unique to the city called 'kyoyasai' are available here." "Yasaka Shrine is dedicated to Gion, Kyoto's 'guardian saint'. 'Yasaka' is another name for Gion who is called 'Susanou-no-Mikoto' in Kojiki. Gion Matsuri in July is one of the most famous festivals in Japan." Gojo: -------------- Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto. Hozokan (Shoumen Karasuma Higashi-iru 600_8153; From east entrance of Higashi-Honganji cross Karasuma Avenue and enter east-west alley. South side of street. Between Subway Gojo and JR Kyoto. 343-0458, Fax 371-0458) "Buddhist. One of the best stores for Buddhist literature in Kyoto. Near Higashi-Honganji, the center of the Joudo-Shin sect, but other denominations are equally well represented. Started in the early Tokugawa period. In business for at least 400 years. Few or no books in foreign languages." [08/11] Nagata Bunshoudo (Hanayacho-dori Nishino-Doin Nishi-iru 600_8342; From Subway Karasuma Line Gojo walk east along the street on the north edge of Higashi-Honganji. Turn south at Nishino-Doin and turn west at the first corner into (original) Hanayacho-dori. Between Higashi-Honganji and Nishi-Honganji. 371-6651, Fax 351-9031) "Retail store of publisher of Buddhist books. A handful of books in English. A store with a long history: Established in the Keichou Epoch, around 1600 AD. Oldest bookstore in Kyoto and oldest store in our Japan listing." Open 9-17. Closed Sun, Hol. [08/11] Nishi-Honganji has a book section which sells books from their publishing division. Directions to Nagata Bunshodo are complicated for two streets are called Hanayacho-dori. The store is on the original Hanayacho-dori while the parallel street on the north is the new Hanayacho-dori. People disagree whether they should put the prefix "kyuu" (=old) on the original Hanayacho-dori, or "shin" (=new) to the new one. The new Hanayacho-dori is wider and longer, and is the one labeled Hanayacho on tourist maps. It is not a displeasure to wander around the district and see the machiya (traditional houses) and shops selling Buddhist ornaments, robes for temple clergy and traditional craft. JR Kyoto Station: -------------- JR/Kintetsu Kyoto Terminal lies on the north side of the intersection of Karasuma and Hachijo (Eighth Avenue). Several large shopping centers in the vicinity, connected by underground passages to the station. Avanti Book Center (31 Higashi-Kujo Nishi-Sanno-cho, Minami-ku 601_8003; Covers entire 6F of mall tower 'Avanti' on south (Hachijo-guchi) side of JR Kyoto. 671-8987) "General bookstore which offers both popular books and technical books. About as large as Junkudo Kyoto (Shijo). Many foreign paperbacks." Open 10-20. [01/13] Ogaki Shoten Aeon Mall (1 Toriiguchi-cho, Nishi-Kujo, Minami-ku 601_8417; 2F Aeon Mall. South side of JR Kyoto, west of Avanti. On block south of New Miyako Hotel. 692-3331) "Opened June 2010. Large store on one floor. Some foreign books, but Avanti is probably better." Open 10-21. [08/11] The bookstore in Kyoto tower has some books for tourists. [08/11] Asahiya Kyoto closed February '07. ============================================================================ Guide for tourists: The two Junkudo branches, one on Kawaramachi and the other on Shijo are the best places for books in English. But they have far less foreign books than Maruzen-Junkudo and Kinokuniya in the vicinity of JR Osaka Station (Umeda district). In fact you have a better chance of finding a non-Japanese book about history, culture or traditional craft in Osaka than in Kyoto. For old books on local culture and history, visit Kikuo Shoten. If you want to see how bookstores looked like in the 1800s, visit Chikuho Shoro in Teramachi. For ukiyoe prints and books in traditional binding visit Akao Shobundo on Kawaramachi, Daishodo in Teramachi. Yamazaki Shoten in the Higashiyama district is good for old art volumes. For a modern store renowned for chic interior and layout visit Keibunsha in Ichijoji. There are very few foreign books in bookstores in Nara. [01/14] ============================================================================
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